Retail Therapy: the future of retail and wellness in Tomorrow’s City

The retail landscape is evolving, particularly the blurring lines of retail, leisure, lifestyle and wellness.

  • As ‘retailtainment’ gathers momentum, is retail therapy the next big thing?
  • From subscription models to the “Internet of Things” how are retailers and brands integrating with the lives of consumers?
  • What role will wellness and lifestyle experiences play in bridging the gap between online and offline retail?
  • How can consumer experience increase dwell time and enhance brand loyalty?
  • Will leisure and wellness offerings be essential for a thriving retail spaces – from high streets to shopping centres – in future?

Key themes from the debate were:

  •  Good health is almost seen as an achievement and affluent consumers of all ages will spend precious time and money to maintain it.
  • Landlords are looking at data on air quality and connectivity as well as footfall and expenditure patterns to make the most of their portfolio: making sure they select the right data sets is key.
  • Great retailers can use health and wellness offerings to thrive in a challenging environment. Harry Selfridge was ahead of his time when he wanted his store to become a social hub.
  • Consumers can do their research online before coming into a shop, so creating an emotional connection with the brand.
  • Using wellness and sustainability to create a true experience allows retailers to charge a premium.
  • The real competition is for precious free time. Landowners and retailers can work together to pull customers in to an area or a store, using placemaking skills to attract different demographics.
  • Some old truths still rule – seeing is believing, trying is buying and of course, customer service always matters.

We will explore the legal issues arising from the panel discussion in a Wedlake Bell podcast available shortly. We’ll let you know when you can find it on iTunes, Stitcher and our website.


  • Zana Busby, Business Psychologist at Retail Reflections
  • Dan Johnson, Director of Placemaking, New West End Company
  • Paul O’Grady MRICS, Director, Grosvenor Britain and Ireland
  • Faye Wilson, JLAB lead, John Lewis

Event Details

Date: Tuesday 6 November 2018